Black Beans and Diabetes

Black Beans and Diabetes


Glycemic index:


Calories per 100 g:

293 kcal

Black beans have been a mainstay in North American cuisine for years. Those tiny seeds are nutritionally potent due to their antioxidant, fiber, protein, and carb content. Namely, they’ve been found to help the body digest calories more efficiently and lessen the risk of developing several significant health issues.

This article explores the relationship between black beans and diabetes, what science has to say about it, and how you can safely consume them.


Nutritional value

  • Protein 9 g
  • Carbohydrate 62 g
  • Fat 1 g
  • Fiber 15.5 g
  • Sugar 2 g
  • Cholesterol 0 g

Nutritional Values of Black Beans

Black beans are high in antioxidants, which help to protect the body's cells and lower the risk of heart disease. They are also relatively low in calories at just 227 per cup of boiled black beans. This makes it beneficial for people trying to avoid being overweight.

Also, you get an impressive 15.2 g of protein and 15 g of fiber per cup. This would ensure you eat minimally, further helping to keep your weight in check.

Although relatively high in carbs at 40.8 g per cup, its low glycemic index (GI) of 30 helps your body absorb these carbs slowly. This means when eaten in moderation, you can avoid an abrupt increase in your blood sugar levels.


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The Benefits of Eating Black Beans as a Diabetic

Black beans are nutrient-dense legumes that can reduce the risk of several medical conditions (like diabetes) and help your body to function more effectively. Below are the benefits of eating black beans for people with diabetes.


Aids Blood Pressure Management

Maintaining optimal blood pressure is essential to avoid diabetes complications like hypertension. One excellent way to achieve this is to stick to a low-salt diet. Black beans are relatively low in sodium at just 408 mg per cup, far lower than the recommended daily intake of 2,000 mg in people with diabetes and hypertension.

Moreover, they are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all of which can naturally lower blood pressure.


Regulates Blood Sugar

Black beans, unlike many other high-carbohydrate foods, do not raise blood sugar levels. The reverse has been discovered in the research. Blood sugar levels are lower when people consume black beans with rice than when they eat rice alone.


Prevents Heart Disease

A study revealed that consuming a serving of dried black beans reduces the risk of myocardial infarction (MI)—a heart disease—by 38%.

Heart disease is a major health risk for people with diabetes and is exacerbated by high cholesterol intake. Thankfully, black beans are high in fiber and low in cholesterol. Additionally, fiber further aids the reduction of total cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, which helps in the prevention of heart disease.

Furthermore, beans contain cardioprotective compounds such as quercetin and saponins. Quercetin is a natural anti-inflammatory compound that has been shown to lower the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against LDL cholesterol damage. Saponins, on the other hand, are also thought to help lower blood lipid and cholesterol levels, which protects the heart and blood vessels.


Aids Weight Loss

Dietary fiber, which acts as a “bulking agent” in the digestive system, plays a significant role in weight loss and management. High-fiber foods (like black beans) promote fullness after eating and suppress appetite, decreasing overall calorie consumption.

Research shows that bean consumption reduced increased waist size risk by 23% and obesity risk by 22%.


Further Review of Research Done on Black Beans and Diabetes

According to reports, including black beans in a meal can assist persons with type 2 diabetes in maintaining their blood sugar levels. Because black beans are a complex carbohydrate, they take longer for the body to digest than other carbohydrates.

Soluble fiber, one of the many components of black beans, was also found to help lower blood sugar and A1C levels — a vital blood sugar marker. According to a meta-analysis, daily intake of soluble fiber (of which black beans are a rich source) in doses of 13 g or more reduced HbA1C levels by a massive 60%.

Subjects with type 2 diabetes who ate a cup of beans or lentils every day as part of a low-glycemic index diet were studied in a 2012 research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Their A1C levels were half a percentage point lower after three months.

How to Add Black Beans to Your Diabetic Diet

Black beans are a delicious and versatile food that can be served as a side dish or main course. You can use them to make bean burgers or add them to salads. Although the healthiest types are raw, you can go for baked beans with less sugar and carbs.



The numerous blood sugar-lowering effects of black beans are reinforced by research. However, we recommend consulting with your doctor or a dietician before including them in your diabetes diet.

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